Mental Health Awareness

October 5, 2021

Dear Carolina Students, 

Being a student at Carolina today means living in a world that’s more interconnected than it’s ever been. Our smartphones make us feel even more connected. But even so, it’s not unusual to sometimes feel more isolated – not just because of social distancing and other pandemic precautions, but also because our electronic devices, our busy schedules, and other demands don’t leave us enough time for more personal connections. 

This week, and in the weeks ahead, you’ll be seeing and hearing more messages on campus about staying connected to each other. It’s important, because our health and well-being depend on it. Next week marks the midpoint of this semester, so it’s a good time to pause and assess how you’re doing. 

I’d like to ask you to listen closely to these messages that talk about, first, taking care of yourself, and second, taking care of those around you. The heart of these messages is focused on what we can do together: Heal. Help. Hope. At some time or another, every single one of us needs some help, and this university offers plenty of ways to both get and give that help

Maybe you’re feeling like it would be nice to have someone to talk to. Or maybe you know someone who could use a little extra support, but you’re not sure how to help. The campus activities, videos and social media messages you’ll see in the next few weeks will share helpful ideas about:

  • Practicing good self-care with regular sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and setting aside time for experiences that help you feel relaxed and happy
  • Checking in with family to let them know how you’re doing
  • Reaching out to friends with encouragement and empathy
  • Reaching out to friends, professors, faith leaders, peer leaders and other trusted connections when you need someone to listen
  • Finding online resources when you need some extra help
  • Building resiliency, so you can work through the tough spots and get to the better days ahead

Your physical and mental health should be your top priorities every day. Your university family cares about you, and we want to help you find the resources to be your healthiest, happiest self. 

I hope you’ll take these messages to heart and put your best efforts into caring for yourself and others, too. Together, we are stronger, better and healthier Gamecocks. Together, we can help each other Heal, Help and Hope. 

Take care, and see you soon!

Harris Pastides
Interim President